SAN DIEGO – Eight prototypes have been completed, one of which may be selected as the design for the wall along the US-Mexico border, one of the most controversial promises made by President Donald Trump during and after his election campaign.
The mockups will be analyzed in the coming months by Customs and Border Protection to determine which one best fulfills the parameters established for the wall along the almost 2,000-mile US-Mexico border.
Acting CPB Deputy Commissioner Ron Vitiello presented on Wednesday the eight completed models in San Diego, emphasizing that the wall along the border, construction of which still has not received the green light from Congress, will fulfill its mission despite its anticipated high cost.
Vitiello said at a press conference that the wall – slated to require $1.6 billion this fiscal year alone – would be costly but the administration believes it is worthwhile.
The interim CPB chief examined each of the prototypes and expressed surprise at the height of 30 feet for each one, especially compared to the current sections of border fence that stand between 10 feet and 15 feet high between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.
EFE was able to confirm that two of the models allow movement on the other side of the border to be observed through bars, a design that had been suggested by the Trump administration, and another is equipped with metal spikes to prevent it from being scaled, while several of the structures are comprised of both metal and concrete.
According to US authorities, after a period of 30 days, so that the materials used will have a chance to set, CBP agents will launch a testing phase of up to 60 days to determine which design or designs is/are the most effective at preventing illegal border crossings.
Vitiello said that the design ultimately selected by the administration must fulfill the requirements of being impenetrable and difficult to climb or dig under.
The interim CPB chief said that the six companies selected during the bidding process to build wall prototypes were hired only to erect those eight small sections but the construction of the border wall itself could be undertaken in a different way.
The six firms that built the eight prototypes are: Caddell Construction Co., LLC Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., DBA Fisher Industries, Texas Sterling Construction Co., W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company KWR Construction, Inc. and ELTA North America Inc.
In his first week in office, on Jan. 25, Trump issued an executive order entitled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” calling for “the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border” and shortly thereafter CPB opened the bidding to build the prototypes, selecting the six companies a little more than a month later.
Those firms commenced work building the prototypes on Sept. 26.